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Albion BY5 F.B.E

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Great thread and has answered a few questions for me re the setup of the winches etc. Any chance of fixing the broken links to some of the photos on pages 1 and 2, or failing that could I ask for them to be emailed to me for private research?

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Great restoration. So nice to see a Brit rarity rescued from the dead.

Could you tell me what year it is? And do you know the years of the BY1 and BY3 production?

Questions questions!

I have seen many photos of them  with the BEF, usually wrecked in France.

So wonder what model they had in 1940.

Some made it to Dunkirk beaches where their boats were of some use. They are seen near the 'lorry piers' which were constructed by the R.E. 's. Pic below is a Dunkirk lorry pier  with possibly a folding boat .

I will see if I have any Albion F.B.E  pics



Edited by XS650
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Sorry for the delay in replying but first of all - message to Old Git about photos - will sort it out asap.

Next XS650. Manty thanks for your interest about the Albion and have put together a brief history.

BY1  Chassis:   Order placed by the War Office to Albion Motors  for delivery from 1937 - 1940.    These were used for G.S trucks, Bridging Equipment, Pontoon Body, Trestle/Sliding Bay Units and Small Box  Girder Bridge.

Fitted with Albion engines EN214/215 - Petrol 4 cyl, capacity 3.89 litres.

Chassis Start Number 52000A .

BY3 Chassis:  Order placed  by the War Office for 1940 - 1941.  Use as above.

Fitted with Albion Engine EN278 - Petrol 6  cyl, capacity4.25 litres.

Chassis Start Number 52200A.

BY5 Chassis: Order placed by War Office for 1941 - 1945.  Folding Boat Body and G.S Body. 

Fitted with Albion Engine EN280 - Petrol 6 cyl, capacity 4.56 litres.

Chassis Start Number 52450A.

BY7:  Future design only one ,but unable to find any info on it.

Chassis Start Number: 52600A.

My Albion was part of a  contract number V 5103 - Date 21/03/1942 for 800 vehicles for delivery from 6/8/1943  with 50 vehicles ready for collection  a month.  The order was for 170 F.BE, 225 Pontoon, 123 S.B.G, 231 G.S ,7 Derrick, 22 Wireless, 22 Bridge Track and 261 not yet allocated.

The Contract order was changed on 16/05/1944 for 329 F.B.E and 471 G.S.

Both the two types of bodies were to be supplied and fitted by Weymann Motor Bodies in Addlestone, Surrey.

Lorry Numbers for F.B.E - L 5332821 - 5333149 and for the G.S - L 5333150 - 5333620.

And 18YX66 was sold off from C.V.D ASHCHURCH on 25/08/1959.

Hope this is of some interest to you and if you have or find any BY5's in service then please let me know.


Paul Burns.

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Paul , great information thanks, my big interest is BEF vehicles so if I am reading  right only the later BY5 carried Folding Boat Equipment. Therefore the BEF of 1940 would not have  FBE  trucks?

Fancy Albion having a different engine in each  subsequent variant  over such a short period , what a nightmare for spares stock!




Edited by XS650
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Just to keep your interest the Contracted  Price of each Albion of the 329 order was - chassis £1080 each and the cab £68 each. Then there was extra costs of £62.12s.10d , so add that all up and you can see what it cost the War Office - you still had to add the cost of the body supplied and fitted by Weymann Motor Bodies.

The BY1/3 were a bit like first world war lorries - archaic - they had the standard WD pattern open cab with a canvas folding hood and side screens. The hood was attched via straps to the front mud guards.

The BY5  had a full metal and glass windscreen where the other marks didn't, but still had a folding roof and side screens.

The BY1 engine had a bore of 3.3/4" and a stroke 5.3/8" - 4 cyl

BY3 engine had a bore of 3.1/2" and a stroke 4.1/2" - 6 cylinders.

BY5 engine had a bore of 3.5/8" and a stroke 4.1/2" - 6 cylinders.

Albion just updated the design with the change of the shape of the rad and a more powerful engine to haul the lorry and a trailer when fitted. Also the high and low gear box was a help when driving over rough ground.

To answer your question, the BY1/BY3  did have Folding Boat Equipment but the design of the bodywork is totally different to the BY5 and was one on the many improvements.

I can assure you it's a nightmare now trying to get spare parts for it.


Paul Burns


Edited by PB1954RNS
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  • 11 months later...


It's been nearly a year since I put a up date on the Albion and I have to admit that I did lose interest in doing any work during this plague.  But after two jabs and a friendly kick up the bum, set about catching up on the work that has been waiting for my attention.

I have a long list of small jobs that needed doing and set about doing them, when you cross off one job there is still another 24 to do.

Small jobs.

I will keep it short as I don't want your eyes to glaze over if I put the long list.

I'm looking for some tie downs that fit on the body work  - check photos and would any one have 4 spare that they don't need. Would they be the same as fitted to trailers ? I have put a new steel plate in between the side angle to support the 10ft oars and 6ft barge poles that are secured in between the frames.

I did plan to cover all 11ft of the inside of the chassis  but it was a daft idea as it made it tight to get to the rear diff's and there was a 100% chance I was going to bang my head when trying to work inside, still got the scar from head butting the frame stretcher .

Next, is looking for the Bridge Type Fuses as I'm missing one for the Horn circuit and would like to have a few spares as well. I do plan to get the fuse board up dated and take modern fuses but that is a long way off.

The double headed bolts on the rear bogie truck had rusted away to the point that they had to be replaced again check photos. They are at the front but there are two at the back will need to be replaced as well, just waiting for the 3/4" Whit nuts to turn up.

Had to remake the dust covers for the wheel bearings as the local wild life - fox - liked the smell of the leather and destroyed them.

First big job.

I'm going to strip down all the brake gear front front to back, but before I start I have to measure up all the adjustment distances. This is so I get the linkages back in the right allowances as the workshop manual states that you have to lift all rear wheels off the ground and adjust. Let me think 2 ton of lorry in the air , slide along on the ground to the brake adjusters - no I think will wait until Saint Peter calls me before I depart this world.



Right call a stop and I would be grateful if any one can help me with the spares . 

IMG_2486 lorry.jpg


IMG_2488 lorry.jpg

IMG_2489 lorry.jpg

IMG_2490 lorry.jpg

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Glad to hear you are still going, this last year has taken a huge toll on all of us. Also, sometimes a break from a project can really inject a bit of go back into what may have been a project that was stalling.

I have felt like that myself before and I am sure others on here will agree. Its a hard old slog doing a restoration sometimes.

Well done.

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Many thanks for your words, I think it was the feeling of doom and gloom, it just put me off from going out and working on it.   But now fuelled up and running to do as much catch up as I can to get it finished.



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Small Jobs List.


Just a quick update on the list of small jobs.

Rad Drain Cock.

I didn't put a photo of this but just to say that the drain cock was sized and the handle had been broken off some time in it's history. Bit of a sod to remove it from the rad, but a couple of swear words , spanner and a bit of pipe it gave up the struggle and taken into the workshop to be stripped down. The handle had been broken off flush with the spindle and then trying to strip the drain cock down was a right pain.

With plenty of penetrating oil left to soak for a hour and with a gentle tap on the end of the spindle the cock came apart. All rusty parts cleaned up and I had to drill a small hole in the remains of the handle, out a small stud remover and out it came. Checked the threads and found to be B.S.F and I had a piece of brass bar at the correct size to make a new handle.

The valve was put back together with a slight smear of silicon grease and went back okay.

Passengers Side Foot Rest.

No photo, as all I could do with this was to forget pyramid nosing and put strips of steel down for the Passenger foot rest.

Rear End of The Lorry .

Right I have been studying the war time photo of the Albion as shown at a depot on delivery. There is a bar fixed to adjustable shackles and held in place with two brackets and I have no idea what the purpose of this item was.?  I have checked every book and museums as to what this bar does and no other details of the brackets  apart from the photo   so I have made up my own .

The first photo shows the lorry bed and you can see the bar on the adjustable shackles and the chain secured to it. So I made a cardboard mock up as shown in the 2nd/3rd photo and kept measuring until it was correct and cut and bent one out of 3mm steel I still have to make another one but should be a lot easy.

The bar as shown in photo 4, was cut out of 1.5" tube with a couple of wooden bungs fitted in the ends and a nut/bolt fitted as well. The - call it a safety chain had been cut being withdrawn from service with the bar or during standing in the scrap yard. I brought a 38mm 'U' clamp as fitted to a car exhaust and made a small bracket for the chain to be fitted to.

I had to replace 14 links of chain to get it to hang correct and fit the bracket as shown in photo 5. The bar still has to be adjusted some more as it's on a slight slope to the Drivers side.

Photo 6 shows the nearly finished job apart from making and fitting the last bracket.

Photo 7. Shows some sort of cardboard device, well it's a mock up of the side rollers with brackets as fitted to the rear towers. These are the next project to be made up and from the Black and White photo the rollers look like turned wood so might have to change these to steel pipe. They where fitted to guide the boats on the chassis, so there is very little chance of the lorry carrying folding boats again; so might just leave them fixed and just for show.

Many Thanks.

Paul Burns 









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